A rarity occurred at Frank Mann field today as the Alexandria Aces played two different teams on the same day. For the double header the Aces faced the Gaithersburg Giants in game one, and the Bethesda Big Train in game two.
For game one the Aces sent Billy Lescher (Penn) to the mound who was dominant in his start on Tuesday afternoon. He shut down the Giants over four innings only allowing two hits while striking out one, and lowering his season ERA to 2.00.
On offense the Aces wasted no time as Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale) roped a two RBI single to left field to score Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) and Danny Pardo (Campbell), and give the Aces a 2-0 lead after one. The Aces tacked on two more runs in the third highlighted by the Pardo RBI double, and extend the lead to 4-0.
Trevor Eulenbach (Weatherford) pitched two innings in relief after Lescher’s solid start to pick up the win. Eulenbach did allow a run in the sixth with two outs as his line for the night read two innings allowing one run on one hit while striking out three.
After exploding for five runs in the fifth inning the Aces turned to Joe Smidt (Nebraska Kearney) in the seventh who tossed a 1-2-3 frame to close out the Giants, and give the Aces a 9-1 victory in game one.
For game two the Aces went a bit off script as they sent Griffin Harms (Wayne St) to the mound for the first start of his career. This spot start couldn’t have gone worse as Harms only lasted 1/3 of an inning allowing three runs on zero hits. After he was chased the Aces turned to Matt Doughty (Virginia) to hold down the fort for a while, and keep the Aces in the game. Doughty was able to work into the fourth inning and only allow one run three hits in three and one third innings of work with striking out two.
On offense the Aces struggled early, but jumped on an opportunity in the third when Big Train starter, Alex Calvert, walked the bases loaded. RBI’s from Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg), and Sobieszczanski cut the lead to 3-2, and a walk from Ryan McMillen (Shippensburg) loaded the bases back up with two outs. Two wild pitches from reliever Walker Sheller allowed the Aces to take a 4-3 lead after three.
After Doughty allowed the tying run in the fourth Brandon Justice (Charleston), and Wade McNabb (Stetson) combined for two and a third scoreless innings pitched to keep the score tied at 4 runs a piece.
Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) came on in the seventh inning and was brilliant tossing a shutout inning to give the Aces a chance to win the game. The Aces had an opportunity to win the game in the seventh but left a man on third after two straight strikeouts.
After a quick eighth inning by both teams, Menchaca fired his third scoreless inning of work in the top of the ninth. Thee Aces loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but a double play on a line drive ended any chance in an instant.
That took all wind out of the sails of the Aces as the Big Train scored three runs in the top of the tenth off of Mike Torres (Wilmington). A Danny Pardo double was all the Aces mustered up in the bottom of the inning as the Big Train left Alexandria with a 7-4 victory.
Tune-in tomorrow as the Aces stay home, and play a crucial double header against division rival Vienna starting at 4:30.
After a much-needed day off, the Aces are back to work tonight at Frank Mann Field with only six games left in the regular season. The Aces have another doubleheader, playing the Gaithersburg Giants in Game 1 and the Bethesda Big Train in Game 2. First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 4 p.m. but fans who cannot make it to Frank Mann can follow the Aces on Twitter or tune in to Aces Radio.
The Aces sit right at even on the season with a 17-17 record. The Giants and Big Train could not be further apart. Gaithersburg is last in the North division and the CRCBL with a 12-25 record. The Big Train are best in the South and best in the League with a 27-9 record. The Giants are 3-7 in their last 10 games, while the Big Train are 8-2.
Tate Shaw is expected to start for the Giants. Shaw, a sophomore from the University of Texas, has 19.2 innings pitched for Gaithersburg this season. With an 0-2 record and a 4.11 ERA, Shaw has appeared in 10 games but only started in two. He has 15 Ks and seven walks and has conceded nine earned runs on 29 hits.
Billy Lescher is the Aces probable pitcher in Game 1. Lescher (U of Penn) has a 1-1 record with a 2.57 ERA in eight appearances. He has struck out 17 batters and walked 10 in his 14 innings. Lescher was credited with the win in the July 16 win over Vienna, but has not pitched for the Aces since then.
The Big Train will send Alex Calvert to the mound for Game 2. Calvert, a sophomore righty out of the University of South Carolina, has appeared in eight games while starting six. He has 31 Ks in 30.1 innings pitched, but has given up 11 ER on 22 hits. Calvert has yet to face the Aces this season.
Griffin Harms is expected to face Calvert in Game 2. Harms (Wayne State Univ) is a dynamic outfielder-turned-pitcher who will get his first start of the season on the mound. Harms has pitched four times this season, but all of those appearances are relief, with the longest 1.1 innings. He has six Ks and one walk but has yet to give up an earned run on two hits.
Come on out to Frank Mann tonight to support your hometown Alexandria Aces. Go Aces!
The Baltimore Dodgers came to Frank Mann Field on Sunday night to give the Aces their first non-doubleheader game since July 6th. In one of the sloppiest games (nine total errors) of the season, the Aces pulled out a 9-8 walk-off win.
Mike Torres (Wilmington) and Tyler Fellner were the starting pitchers in a game that showed early signs of being a high-scoring affair. Torres gave up three runs on four hits in the top of the third, with two of those doubles and one triple. The Aces were able to respond with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, aided by a two-run homer from Malcom Nachmanoff (Stony Brook), his second of the year.
The Dodgers kept the offense rolling, scoring one run in the 3rd, one in the 4th, and three in the 5th. With an 8-4 lead, the Dodgers looked as though they might hand the Aces another tough loss.
A Danny Pardo (Montevallo) solo shot in the bottom of the 5th cut the Baltimore lead to just three runs. The Aces continued chipping away, scoring one more in both the seventh and eighth innings. Matt Doughty (UVa) and Jacob Craver (UNC-Charlotte) both had effective relief appearances, but it was Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) who was called upon in the ninth. After giving up a walk-off HBP to the Braves just two days prior, Menchaca was able to forget that appearance. He went 1-2-3 and gave the Aces a chance in the bottom half of the ninth.
Pardo showed patience at the plate leading off, advancing to first on a full count walk. Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) was also walked and both Pardo and Marcinko stole a base. That gave Alex Stephens (Morehead State) two runners in scoring position with no outs. A slow chopper to first, and a fielding error, allowed Pardo to come home and Stephens to go to first. Stephens then took off for second and the Dodgers’ first baseman overthrew the second baseman, bringing Marcinko in from third and ending the game.
Player of the Game: The player of Sunday night’s game is not in fact a player, but a coach. Rather, a group of coaches. The Aces coaching staff are awarded the PotG award for keeping Alexandria in a game that seemed almost hopeless in the 5th inning. Coach DeSilva and his coaching staff employed aggressive base running and pitching changes to give the Aces a chance, which eventually paid off.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Aces pulled out the win, bumping the season record to 17-17 and back to .500. With five more home games before the season finale in Bethesda, every game will be important for determining playoff standings.
After splitting a doubleheader with the Giants last night in Gaithersburg, the Aces finally will play a solo game tonight after six DHs in a row. The Aces host the Baltimore Dodgers at 7 p.m. at Frank Mann Field. Fans who cannot attend the game can follow the game on Twitter or tune in to Aces Radio.
Alexandria (16-17) broke a four game losing streak last night in the second game against the Giants and now sit just one game behind .500. Every game going forward for Alexandria will have an impact on the playoffs, with four teams all in contention for the #5 and #6 spots. The Dodgers (12-24) have the second-worst record in the CRCBL and have no real shot at making the playoffs.
Tonight will be the fourth time these two teams meet this season. The Aces took the first two games, an 11-1 home win and a 4-3 win on the road in the first of a DH. The Dodgers won the second game of the DH on June 24th in a 5-3 game.
Mike Torres is the Aces probable pitcher tonight. Torres, a senior RHP out of Wilmington (DE), will get his ninth appearance for the Aces in what will be his third start. Torres has a 0-0 record with a 1.80 record. He has pitched 15 innings for Alexandria this summer, giving up 16 hits but only three earned runs. Torres’ first six appearances for the Aces this season were relief, but since then he has started two games, with his most recent start on July 12th against the T-Bolts.
The Dodgers will start Tyler Fellner on the mound. Fellner (Salisbury U) has a 1-2 record and a 7.02 ERA in eight appearances. He has 11 K’s and six walks in 16.2 innings pitched, but has given up 13 ER. Fellner started in the first matchup of the season between these two teams at Frank Mann Field, giving up four runs on five hits in just two innings.
The Aces have six of the last seven games of the season at home. They have brought in just over 1,600 fans this season to 14 home openings, with a goal of reaching 2,000 fans. So bring your friends and family to Frank Mann as the Aces have six straight home games in the last week of the regular season!
The Alexandria Aces headed to Gaithersburg on Saturday afternoon looking to complete a marathon stretch of six straight doubleheaders.
The Aces and Giants split the DH as the Giants won the first game 4-3 and the Aces thumped Gaithersburg in the second game, 15-7.
Game 1 of the doubleheader sent Wade McNabb (Stetson) out on the mound to start for the Aces. McNabb faced Taylor Bloom, a Gaithersburg pitcher who tore apart the Aces the last time Alexandria traveled to Gaithersburg.
The Aces jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Brett Netzer (UNC-Charlotte) was brought in by Alex Stephens (Morehead State) and Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) scored on an E6. Alexandria looked to be in control after scoring one more in the third inning to lead 3-0, but McNabb then gave up three runs in the fourth inning to make it a tie ball game.
The score stayed at 3-3 until Marcinko’s E6 in the TOP 7 allowed one Giants’ run, which would prove to be the winning run. The Aces could not pull a comeback in the bottom of the seventh and dropped game one, 4-3.
Game two of the doubleheader was a must-win for the Aces, as the first loss of the DH put Alexandria on a four-game losing streak. The second contest featured Jake Wersinger (Wilmington) on the mound for the Aces. The game was back and forth for the first couple of innings. The Giants took a 3-0 lead in the BOT 2, but the Aces responded with four runs of their own in the TOP 3. Gaithersburg tied the game in the fourth inning in what looked like what was going to be a close finish.
The Aces bats exploded in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring four in the 5th and seven in the 6th to take a 15-4 lead into the seventh inning. The Giants ripped three runs off of Joe Smidt (Univ. of Nebraska-Kearney) in the bottom of the seventh, but the Aces cushion survived the late blow, with the Aces winning 15-7.
Player of the Games: Brett Netzer was the biggest highlight for the Aces in Game 2. Netzer went 2-4 at the plate with two runs and five RBIs. More importantly, however, Netzer continues to show his leadership on this Aces team off the field. Win or lose, Netzer can be seen helping his teammates and doing whatever needs to be done to make the team better.
With only six days left in the regular season, the playoff picture is incredibly jumbled. As of right now, the Aces would have the 5th spot in the playoffs with the best record of teams not in the Top-2 in their division. However, the Aces have to keep an eye on the Express, the Braves, and even the Grays, who all have legitimate shots at making the postseason.